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Database Provider

Author

Khan Academy

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Videos, 7 minutes, 17 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus

Global

Format

YouTube Video

Are Southern Hemisphere Seasons More Severe?

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Synopsis
  • This video explains how the oceans act as a moderator to prevent more severe seasonal temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere, even though it's closer to the sun in the summer and further from the sun in the winter.
  • Students will learn about the seasons, the eccentricity of Earth's orbit, the specific heat of water, and the reason why Antarctica is colder than the Arctic.
  • An interactive quiz is available for students to check their understanding of the seasons.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This resource provides a detailed explanation of this topic and the interactive quiz can be linked to Google Classroom if the teacher signs up for a free account.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This resource is part of a series on Earth's systems in the AP/College Environmental science course by Khan Academy.
  • The resource does not require a login to view the video, but if students want to leave comments, they will need to sign up.
  • Students should already be familiar with the Earth's tilt and have basic knowledge of the seasons.

Differentiation

  • This resource could be used in an Earth science or environmental science course when learning about Earth's orbit or the seasons.
  • The topic can relate to climate change by drawing connections to extreme weather and shifting seasons.
  • The video briefly touches on the concepts of specific heat and heat capacity, which could connect this video to a chemistry, physics, or physical science course.
  • Other resources related to seasons include Earth's SeasonsEarth's Rotation & Revolution, and Effect of Latitude on Climate.
Scientist Notes
During the Southern Hemisphere's summer, the Earth is closer to the Sun. A common and understandable misconception is that the Southern Hemisphere's seasons would therefore be more extreme. However, because the Southern Hemisphere is 81% ocean, and with water needing more energy to heat than land, the seasons there are not more extreme. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • 6.ESS2.6 Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.
      • HS.ESS2.4 Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth’s systems result in changes in climate.
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